Essay from MGT course… A leader has been deemed one of the most significant individuals to exist among our society. Every day we witness leaders going out and about accomplish a great deal of feats and changing the world as we know it. They make good decisions, are intelligent in their line of work, and are clever enough to distinguish themselves when they amaze those around them. They seem to charm the ladies with their confidence, impress their supervisors with their success, and entrance their subordinates with their ability and speed. Leaders are all around us, making the best of their position and taking every opportunity to improve themselves. One thing that must not be forgotten is what allows them to be a leader and where they came from.
It has been said that a boss will tell you what to do, but a leader will do it and show you how it is done. In many cases, this is because this is how they learned how to do their job. The best leaders had someone, either directly or indirectly, lead them. During that time, they were not necessarily leaders, but the best followers. Being the best follower may not have the best sound to it, but a follower who has the understanding of the ultimate goal, his/her role, demonstrates willingness to practice their role to the best of their ability, actively seeks leadership, and demonstrates leadership characteristics is bound the become a leader that will be unparalleled by his/her peers.
When trying to understand the characteristics of a follower, or leader, the characteristics and the intent of the functioning body, the team, must also be evaluated and understood. The first thing that must be considered is the fact that a team always has an ultimate goal. Everyone on the team may have their own goals, but these individuals chose to collaborate in pursuit of greater achievement. A leader is often chosen due to their experience, efficiency, and effectiveness toward achieving the goal. In a business setting, one will rarely witness a condition in which a team is striving for a one-time goal. Instead, the goals will have everlasting characteristics with relevant benchmarks, such as time. For example, a company may want to achieve a ninety-percent customer service satisfaction rating. This does not mean the company will reach it, then abandoned the goal as soon as it is met. Once it is met, the company will evaluate how long it took to achieve the goal, and reinstate it with a smaller window. This is the pursuit of progress. Any effective follower will understand this.
With the goal understood, a follower in pursuit begins to blend in with the working environment. They understand the task at hand and fully recognize how they can contribute to achieving the end goal. A nurse, for example, can be deemed a follower. Their role consists of assisting the patient in any way possible. In most cases, patients will see their nurse more than anyone else in the hospital. They will review your vitals, make sure you are fed, and will even make sure you are comfortable and become your liaison to the medical world. To the untrained eye, they may as well be the doctor as they seem to be the primary person taking care of you. To the coherent, a nurse is part of a larger puzzle ready to save a life at a moment’s notice. In the case of a hospital, it is hard to determine who is in charge of who, especially when everyone is working diligently and no orders are being barked. It is almost impossible to establish a change of command. This is the perfect example that followers who understand their role and take initiative create an environment where productivity is at its highest and supervisor is only a word on a name tag.
If you happen to be in the hospital, for a prolonged period of time, you may interact with a significant and complex team of medically-trained individuals. These individuals have spent years learning, studying, and practicing their profession so that they may be able perform their role effectively. They are not concerned with who is in charge of them. Instead, they perform their tasks as though they are the ones in charge. With this ideology, progress in a workplace becomes streamline.
Looking back at the days of Stratton Oakmont, it was apparent that Jordon Belfort’s team was doing something significant. He was able to motivate them to a point where they wanted to practically live in the office in order to work more. Jordon Belfort was their boss, sure, but the Strattonites were operating on an individual like nothing that had been seen before. Due to this progress, many of them became very wealthy in a small amount of time. Mark Zuckerberg experienced the same success, but within legal means. His team was so committed to the progress and potential of the company they were willing to do the ridiculous to achieve it. Although the individual team member may have simply been working on the homepage design, or what settings a user may have, they would essentially “link” into the site and work on it as though it was all their own. Their success is now global and unprecedented.
This mindset, practicing to achieve potential, is what allows an entire team to reach its potential. Whenever a quarterback hikes the ball, only the best is expected from the other ten players on his offense. When one player decides that he will take it easy on a play, fans will witness their quarterback throw an interception. However, it is seen time and time again, in many fields, including the NFL, that whenever an individual is doing their duty the best it can be done, it is subject to recognition and credited when success results. NFL commentators will describe how well a lineman is blocking, even if they are not the one that made the touchdown. This is because the commentators and linemen both understand the importance of all tasks that are entailed in running a successful play. Had the linemen decided to not block as well as they do, due to the fact they will not make a touchdown, the team itself will experience a crippling decrease in potential achievement.
An effective follower understands that one day they will no longer be a follower. They understand that their hard work will result in their advancement in the company and an eventual promotion. The interesting fact about this type of follower is that they are already a leader. In the workplace, there will always be that one employee or coworker that is continuously going above and beyond, assuming as much responsibility as they can. It is an undeniable truth that this individual will one day become a leader. The barrier they face, in most cases, is simply time in the field. Due to the organization and complexity of the workplace, vertical progress requires time in the field, experience in errors, and performance in pressured conditions. These circumstances and conditions take time to achieve, but can be achieved in an expedited manner though classes, books, or personal training. A follower willing to pursue the expedited journey, will venture into these channels. The more committed follower eventually accepts a collegiate career in the field and challenges the leadership in the workplace with not just experience, but with a degree confirming they spent a prolonged period of time being taught by experts in the field. This level of commitment is so impressive; it automatically opens the door to supervisorial positions in many companies.
This internal leadership is what every leader looks for in a follower. At the end of the day, a leader is looking at self-reliability and initiative. When a team is performing at its potential, all members are self-drive, reliable, and self-sufficient. They do not need to be told what to do, instead they are their own personal leaders. They understand what they need to do, they understand what the goal of the team is, they understand what is expected of them, and they are always pushing themselves to perform at the same level of their leadership. These individuals are almost undistinguishable between their leaders. This is exactly the culture that is seen in the most vital industries in our world. The best follower is a leader.
Though there are still a few grammatical errors, I do appreciate feedback.